33- Finding Alice Under The Surface

Throughout the day, I have realizations that I think would make great blog topics, but I am on the run and not able to write. Often, I revisit the idea during the day to make sure I remember it.

Today, I had 2 or 3 ideas, and as I sit down at my desk, with midnight only 10 minutes away, I can’t remember them. Perhaps it had to do with snorkeling? Ah! Actually, it did. I remember now…..

Today, I went out snorkeling at my usual spot. There was an unusual amount of people lying out roasting in the sun. They always remind me of hot dogs in the gas station, except that they need to be turned more often.

The water was picking up a bit, but totally manageable. Per my usual, I swam around one end of the beach, then headed back and swam the length of the beach to the coral reef on the far side, where I get to play with the honu. For some time, I only saw sand, and my vision was actually hindered by the rays of sun cast through the water and all around me. It was beautiful, but also difficult to see past.

I eventually reached coral. The reef is so much like an Alice In Wonderland scene that it’s hard not to feel like a kid floating above a make-believe prairie or forest of sorts. I paused to look at a large outcropping of coral that looked just like a small tree, or like a mascot.

To my right was a GIANT sea turtle, settled on the ocean floor, nestled in between the coral mushrooms (well, they look like giant mushrooms). It looked up and seemed cautious, which is somewhat unusual in my experience. They tend to not even notice I am there. I slowed my breathing and filled up my lungs, then gently dove down, nearby but not close enough to alert it. Still, it seemed uncomfortable, so I continued on.

The water was really starting to pick up, but I loved getting rocked by the waves. Under the surface, everything was calm. I would lift my head above water and feel wind gusts and choppy waves, rocking me toward the shore. Underneath, it was quiet again. It made me think of how I would like to be inside when the outside world is going crazy. I feel such a serenity in the water, and the waves hardly effect my decision to continue or not.

I am remembering several honu encounters today, but one stuck out in my mind. It came up toward me, but not close enough to touch. We were both curious creatures, checking each other out. We started circling, and we probably went in ten circles total, side by side, counter-clockwise.

I knew I was far from shore, and the waves were picking up, with occasional white caps coming down on me, but bobbing back and forth, up and down with this turtle…..it just didn’t matter. I hoped it would get close enough for me to scratch its shell, but it didn’t. I wanted to leave it up to the turtle how close it got to me.

Eventually, it started to swim away, and as a wave came crashing down on me (vs. the previous tossing me about), I realized it was time to go back to shore. It was fun, actually, being tossed side to side as I swam north along the coast. Thanks to my snorkel and fins, it was doable.

Every time I raised my head and acknowledged the outside world, I was amazed at the roughness of the water. Underneath, it was fine and dandy. Within the hour I was out, the wind and waves had picked up so much that the beach had nearly evacuated.

When life gets rocky, can you literally go with the flow? Can you let life rock you back and forth, up and down, and stay fluid?

If you focus too much on the outside world that is rocking your life, it is easy to get intimidated. When you look inside, under the surface, it’s not all so bad. In fact, it’s a magical, mysterious wonderland.